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CAT 2017: Making The Last Leg Count

It is quite normal to be shaken at this point, however, there are several practices that can help you make that preparation count the most, here are key areas to concentrate

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The D-Day approaches. In a few days, nearly 200,000 people will appear for the Common Admission Test (CAT) - a competitive exam designed to test your lateral thinking and command over language, numbers, and yourself. This last aspect may come as a surprise to some of you, and I must admit, it occurred to me only in my 20/20 hindsight. But there it is - when all is done and dusted, most applicants attribute their successes (or failures) to the degree of control they have over their nerves.

Several applicants have probably been preparing for CAT 2017 for many months now. Some may even be experiencing an information overload, and a certain degree of anxiety. Let me assure you that it is quite normal to be shaken at this point, with stakes and competition as high as such. Thankfully several practices can help you make that preparation count the most. I’m summing them up in three key areas

1.    Assimilate your knowledge 
This is not a time to try and understand new concepts as you won't be able to assimilate and put them to good use effectively. Your goal should be to maximise the value of your preparation by applying it in a range of scenarios. Borrow Sachin Tendulkar's philosophy here - practice every scenario so many times that no reality is a surprise.

Try and take as many number and variety of mock tests as you can. I’ve known of several CAT crackers (myself included) to be able to see patterns and rhythms in questions after solving several mock tests; to the extent that the questions appear as pieces of puzzles, rather than information that needs to be analysed rigorously.

2.    Freeze on your strong and weak areas
By now you may have identified the variety of questions that you find the easiest and most difficult at approach. Recognise that this variety will not change. This realisation is not to fix the areas of weakness but to be able to spot such questions quickly and allocate the appropriate amount of time and order of priority to it. Putting this knowledge to practice also requires exercising a substantial degree of detachment – learn to say NO to a question and walk away. Remember – given unlimited time, pretty much anyone can score 100 per cent ile in CAT. This is a test of your ability to prioritise, and to optimise your time.

3.    Prep your mind and body for D day

Perhaps the most important factor is getting mentally, emotionally and physically ready for the exam. When it's gone time, your muscle memory kicks in, amidst a battle with several emotions (an experience most likely for those appearing for the first time). You need to be in the right frame of mind to let it take control. That can be a combination of how you treat your body and mind in the run-up to the exam. Good food will keep your body healthy, meditation will energise your mind. Most importantly, give them both enough rest, and avoid experience out the ordinary, the night before the test.  

Remember, it will be over in 180 minutes, however, you perform. While you can’t control that eventuality, you can control your own temperament and positivity, which is where the focus of your preparation should lie.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Hemant Gaule

The author is Co-Founder, School of Communications & Reputation - SCoRe

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