Guest Article by Manoj Kumar Meena
Manoj Kumar Meena is currently studying in 1st year at IIM Ahmedabad. He completed his B.Tech from IIT Delhi in 2009. In this article he shares some insights on the new format for RC passages in online CAT.
CAT (Common Admission Test) is not just an MBA entrance exam, it is the gateway to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management. With over 250,000 graduates, postgraduates and professionals sweating it out to get admitted to the IIMs, you are probably thinking that it’s a lot of competition and you are wondering what the fuss is all about. But a little extra effort combined with a right strategy can make a lot of difference to where you land for your MBA.
As not much time is left for CAT, at this point of time the most important part of strategy is to acclimatize yourself to the exam environment. I find giving mock tests as the best way to do so. Read on to know tips on how you can leverage mock tests in the remaining 7 weeks of CAT 2012.
Frequency of mock test – Since the time lest is really less now, you should utilize the time with utmost care and thoughtfulness. Though you may want to take as many mocks as possible but you should not go overboard with it as it might hamper your preparation. I think it is most appropriate to take two mock tests per week. After you take one mock test, analyze it and then prepare yourself accordingly for the next mock test.
Exam Environment – You should take the mock tests in a simulated environment. Since CAT entrance exam is going to be computer-based exam from this year, you should only take computer based mock tests. You should take atleast 6 mock tests in invigilated or simulated environment. Other than that you should take 8 to 10 full-length online test at home. You should be as comfortable handling the computer as you are with paper and pencil. So you should do all your reading, taking tests in the computer. All reading, practice should be done only on computer. You must maintain your concentration on the computer screen and keep in mind the main points as you cannot underline or highlight texts while reading it. Avoid re-reading the text because of limited retention. Utilize the scratch paper effectively and don’t waste much time in writing a lot on it. Regarding the DI data, you should solve and manipulate a lot in your mind.
Post Test Analysis – Many students just take mock test and spend no time in analyzing it. I think you should spend as much as time in analyzing a mock, as much as you give to take it. Every mock-test that you take from now on will give you additional areas to focus on. So it is a process of fine-tuning yourself. Let us discuss how to deal with the questions after you attempt the mock test. There are three possibilities –
- For questions you answered wrong, it is not enough that you just correct your mistakes after analyzing the paper. You should also ensure that you never repeat the same mistake again.
- For questions attempted correctly, analyze if you solved it in the best possible way in the least possible time.
- For questions that you skipped, solve the question without time limit and analyze if there were any questions that you should have ideally solved to improve your score.
Summary – You should take mock tests from different providers so that you can assess your preparation from varied perspectives. Try to take mock CATs offered by at least three providers. Overall take 2 tests per week in exam-simulated environment and spend enough time in analyzing your performance. All the best for your preparation!
This is a guest article written by Manoj Kumar Meena (Btech – IIT Delhi, PGDM – IIM Ahmedabad)