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CAT 2020: 10 MISTAKES you must avoid

October 29, 2020 11:09 IST
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Inundated with information and long hours of test practice, aspirants are bound to commit mistakes, notes Arun Sharma, a top CAT educator at Unacademy.

Kindly note the image has only been posted for representational reasons. Photograph: Kind courtesy

The Common Admission Test, one of the largest entrance examinations that enables admission into top management institutes in India, is scheduled to take place on November 29, 2020.

With just a month to go, aspiring candidates are gearing up to improve their chances of cracking into some of the best business schools in the country.

Inundated with information and long hours of test practice, aspirants are bound to reach a point of saturation and commit mistakes which otherwise could have been avoided.

Here are 10 common mistakes you can avoid during the CAT this year:

1. Being over-invested in the results

We often forget that accumulating knowledge and information is a lifelong process and seldom does it come to a halt.

The effort and hard work one puts into preparing for an examination will eventually pay off.

You just need to be true to your endeavours without over-stressing on the final results.

If you divert all your focus on the end goal rather than immersing yourself into preparation, it is bound to make you anxious and waiver your confidence.

2. Taking too few tests

Aspiring candidates often due to reasons attributed to time constraint or misjudgement of individual preparation, do not take sufficient number of mock tests before the examination.

This results in lowered self-confidence which will have a direct impact on how you perform on the day of the examination.

Mock tests will ensure you have enough practice to deliver on the exam day.

3. Decreased focus on sectional tests

Unlike other examinations, in CAT each section is allotted 40 minutes, hence time bound testing for each section is a must.

Candidates usually forget the importance of sectional tests and end up spending more time on certain sections and miss out on time to complete the paper.

4. Skewed preparation

It is human nature to focus and over-prepare for sections which are easily decipherable as compared to sections which take more time.

It would serve no purpose to polish areas which are already your strong point.

It is advisable to work on sections which are comparatively tougher for you than the other sections.

5. Letting your nerves get the better of you

It is common to be nervous and anxious on the day of the examination but it is also integral to not let the examination overwhelm you.

A good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast is recommended to calm the nerves and not get over-burdened by your own expectations.

6. Incomplete portions and resorting to short cuts

There are no shortcuts to hard work.

Candidates usually confuse short cuts for smart study and end up with incomplete portions on their plate and decreased morale on the day of the examination.

It is essential to divide time equally for each section and cover the entire portion at least once, followed by revisions and mock tests.

7. Over-aggression in the examination hall

Your heightened nerves on the exam day can make you do unexpected things which if not controlled can affect your performance.

Candidates tend to get aggressive in the exam hall while taking the paper which results in eventual disappointment.

8. Being defensive and over cautious

As much as caution is good for an examination, aspirants often confuse it with being careful.

Being over cautious can limit you from taking certain risks in an examination.

Sometimes the answers that seem the most obvious are not the correct ones.

9. Neglecting a holistic view of your test prep

Preparing for an examination takes into account the holistic understanding of all aspects of the paper, whether that is the difficulty level, question type, and time allotment to name a few.

Focusing on only one aspect and neglecting the other is a common practice amongst candidates.

So, while preparing for the CAT, it is best suited to take a holistic view of your individual test prep.

10. Attending more and doing less

Enrolling yourself for classes and not practising or putting in the required hours will not result in the desired performance.

It is expected that aspirants, while taking the appropriate guidance should also be followed by practicing and learning on their own.

While we learn and grow from our mistakes, it is also essential to be wary of the common errors which are easily rectifiable.

Silly mistakes often result in poor performance from an otherwise prepared and highly deserving candidate.

Keeping this mind, go on and give the examination with utmost grit and determination.

Arun Sharma is a top CAT educator at Unacademy, an online edtech company.

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