With only two weeks left for the Common Admission Test (CAT), all candidates should now be at the final stages of preparation. The next two weeks are for regular studies. Analyse your mock CAT performance and identify your weaknesses with the help of the sectional tests. These tests can be used for improving your speed and question selection abilities too. Ankur Jain, chief knowledge expert, Triumphant Institute of Management Education (TIME), says, “Keep taking regular mock tests at the same time as your slot so that your body clock is in tune with the exam time. Study all topics at least once a week. This will keep your preparation current. Allot more time for weaker areas The general rule is that the weaker you are in a section, the more time you allocate for it. This will help you with the sectional cut-offs, which are followed by the Indian Institutes of Management and other B-schools.”
It is challenging for most students to study for hours in one go and with high concentration levels. Study for about two hours and take a break for 10-15 minutes before you start the next study session.
Arun Sharma, CAT coach and CEO of Mindworkzz, says, you should realise that preparation during the last fortnight should focus on steps you can take to improve your test scores. “It is difficult to schedule an entire 360 degree study of the portion. In other words, your focus should be on incremental change, rather than on completely trying to overhaul your preparation – as that is something you don’t have time for.”
In the final week, start to cut down on your preparation. Don’t take any mock tests after November 30. “Don’t start studying anything new. Start revising important formulae for the quant section and rules of grammar for English. Look at all question types of data interpretation and logical reasoning to familiarise yourself with important approaches. Many people revise all tricky questions to be aware of the potential pitfalls that they should avoid. Do this till the penultimate day,” says Jain.
What’s ruled out?
Lengthy preparation processes that are not likely to fetch you good scores must be avoided. Do not try to implement processes to improve your English such as reading, vocabulary, idioms and phrases etc.
Don’t start studying chapters in quantitative ability (QA) such as the number systems, functions etc – since they take up a lot of your preparation time.
What you must do
Instead, focus on chapters in QA that you have studied but are not scoring well in your mock tests. “You could do two things for this - solve more quantum of questions – in numbers like 50 to 100 and revise and solve all questions that you have done earlier again,” says Sharma.
You can also revise chapters in QA that you have not studied. Some chapters like progressions, ratios, percentages, permutations and combinations, probability, set theory, averages and alligations have short turn-around times. So, you could try to study these even if you haven’t touched them, he says.
For data interpretation and logical reasoning, solve 50 sets as this will improve your skills in solving mock tests. “Remember, though the time for preparation is now short – adding two attempts per section and removing one error per section will convert your mock test scores from 120 to 150 and your expected percentile will go from 70+ to 90+, which will improve your admission prospects to the top colleges,” adds Sharma.