Since CAT is an exam where each section comes separate and there is no movement across sections, let us analyze these three variables section by section.
In the CAT QA section, you need to select and solve with speed. To improve speed in QA, practice as many topic tests and sectional tests as you can. Ideally, you can work on topic tests till November 10th around and thereafter stick to entire QA sectional tests. Try to make sure that you do a complete analysis of the tests that you give. With practice topic tests should become fun walks – you should be able to attain increasing level of attempts with every going test. Note: Topic tests and sectional tests are a good way to improve QA scores – full mock tests are good only to check your performance. Improvement should be targeted through smaller speed based tests.
Reading Comprehension needs daily practice. Apart from full mocks that you take, try giving RC topic tests or verbal sectional tests. You can also set an additional 1 RC a day schedule – which must include diverse topics and an in depth glossary plus central idea analysis.
Para jumbles, completion and critical reasoning based questions can be left to topic and sectional tests only. Even full mocks are enough for the other verbal topics (reasoning) if you have done these before in your preparation till now.
Logical Reasoning-Data Interpretation:
DI-LR needs practice. Apart from mock tests – do sectional tests and previous year CAT DI-LR sectional tests. This is a highly unstructured section and hence would suggest you should not focus a lot on books or on topic tests for this section. Instead focus on taking this section one shot at a time! This will help.
How to attain test consistency in accuracy?
Consistency is a lot about maintaining high levels of concentration in solving as well as in analysis. Analyze your mistakes. Talk to yourself: “I will not make a single silly mistake”, “Alright, when I am not able to eliminate 2 options – I will not attempt a RC question”, “I will not make last minute guesses in any section”, “I will not make trend guesses in DI” etc. etc. Basically, build patterns in your mind everyday – on when you get a higher accuracy and when you don’t. Only you can help yourself in becoming accurate – may be a little help my article does!
What is the basis of question selection practice?
With practice have a soft corner for some topics – it is only fair to like topics and try to attempt questions from those topics. But then remember not to get stuck with difficult questions from your happier topics. Choose questions on merit – read once and see if you understand the essence of the question; if not, leave it for the day. Over tests check if you have built the knack of choosing the easy to moderate questions and leaving the difficult questions. Practice selection.
Macro-picture: So, how to divide your typical week?
Ideally take 2-3 full mocks which can be (1 sample mock + 1-2 previous year CAT paper) taken on alternate days with analysis in between. In addition, do sectional/topic tests as discussed.
Important: RC-a-day, half-an-hour of Hindu/Wiki reading and 1 hour of concept revision (your coaching notes/books that you have used to study till now) should be a constant from now till CAT.
How to manage the daily schedule?
Schedule management is the key when you try to bring a good preparation to a perfect closure. A typical day schedule should be divided into study slots – and each slot should be at least of 2 hour duration. <Since you need to build exam temperament – CAT is a 3 hours exam>
For instance: Depending on the time you can spare for CAT preparation, you can keep each of these following slots anywhere between 2 to 5 hours.
SLOT 1: RC, Verbal tests, E/Hindu reading
SLOT 2: Full Mock/QA-DI Tests
SLOT 3: Your concept revision
For example, if you ask me – I will keep SLOT 1 as the morning slot since I would love to read text volumes early in the morning. Will keep SLOT 2 in the daytime and concept revision/book solving in the night.
How to keep yourself motivated and focused?
Focus and motivation come when you know what lies ahead. CAT is an exam in which the last few weeks of consistent practice can make or break your performance. You need to be at your speed best to get what you deserve – this means people can move ahead of you and you can move ahead of competition in the 40 days to go! So, the onus is on you – what do you want? The best you can or the uncertain that falls from the sky? 40 days matter; for most people PGDM/MBA is the final degree in life – this should be your best degree, your best college as well. So, get serious and try to put in the best of your efforts. Do not worry much about what you have done and what you haven’t till now. It is an aptitude exam and hence the flow in which you are in the final hours makes a lot of difference in your performance. Also, remember, one should not be very judgemental about what one has studied till now. This is not a syllabus coverage based exam. You have done some goods, you might have missed some – but you must finish what you started. Do your best, God will do the rest!
Where to seek guidance from?
Guidance can come from different sources. Your peer study group can help you stay competitive. Your parents can help you manage your timetable. Mentors/alumni who have cracked top IIMs can help you analyze test sections and strategy. Do not spend much time googling help and doing much forum reading here and there. Trust established support systems in your life.
All the best guys! You can do it, you will do it!
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